Customer satisfaction essential for hospitals' success

Press Ganey scores on things like foodservice determine amount of Medicare funds a hospital receives.

March 20—The picky patient who complains about hospital food or a wait in the emergency room could mean the difference between a hospital getting a full Medicare reimbursement and a reduced payment beginning this fall.

The stakes are higher than ever for hospitals to improve the patient experience. Starting in October, it could mean millions of dollars for hospitals as patient satisfaction for the first time is factored into how much Medicare reimburses for the care of senior citizens.

"One bad meal can mean a bad patient satisfaction score," said Fred Brown, managing director for consulting firm Ducker Worldwide in Troy.

And Metro Detroit hospitals are jumping into action, retraining employees in customer service and offering perks such as made-to-order room service meals and VIP lounges to cater to patients and their families.

"The luxury of the rooms is becoming an important factor, and the kind of food you're getting is becoming an important factor," Brown said.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce dirt

Savor at McCormick Place developed the Green Thumb brand for menu items and products featuring its rooftop bounty; the latest is a pale ale made with the first crop of hops grown on the roof. Promoting that branding and the convention center’s green certification has brought in business from groups with a sustainability focus.

Ideas and Innovation
business pamphlet fair show

As we struggle to recruit and retain millennials, we had our current millennial employees invite friends who don’t work for our organization to a Q&A session where we find out why our organization is or isn’t appealing to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. I recommend doing this off-site in a casual environment so you can get honest and open feedback that could be useful for better marketing.

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

FSD Resources